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I was looking around the internet for an angle for a new piece and I ran across a group of people who are wanting to, as they put it, live off the grid. No electricity, indoor plumbing, telephones, those things our folks worked so hard to get. I remember how tickled Grandad was when he finally got indoor plumbing. I can hear him now “I won’t use that dadburned thing, I don’t *hit where I sleep”. There were a whole lot of people in that generation who thought the same thing. Now were catching wind of those people wanting to revert back to the simple times. That might not be a bad idea with the way the economy is headed and the current rage for organic produce. Farmers Markets are sprouting up all over the place, it seems to me as a youngster we had farmers markets on nearly every busy corner, then we called the fruit stands. There were tomato factories all over the Ozarks in every small town it seemed.
In my search I found an article “The Success and Unsuccess of It All” that really hit the mark. Penned by Victoria Drake and her adventure into our hills, complete with all the up’s and down’s of trying to make it on nothing more than a dream. Sound familiar? I was caught off guard by the fact she hadn’t really spent a hard winter in the hills, or thought about how she was going to make the land payment with no income, not to mention how she was going to feed herself. However bad it seemed she had the guts to give it a go, you have to give her credit. I think that it might be best for all us “Hillbillies” to make a few suggestions so she might get a good foothold this next go round. Suggestions and ideas from some of us old timers might make the difference. Show some Ozarks spunk and post them up here in the comments section so she can find them.
It’s about this time of year when we pull out our secret stashes of Frog Legs and get to fryin’. It makes all our friends envious and of course they taste like fresh water chicken.Frogging in the Ozarks is one of our families favorite things to do on a hot summer night. You can hear those big bullfrogs croaking a half mile away in the hollows down on the James River. There are a ton of different ways to catch these tasty frogs. One method that has been used for more than a century and our preferred method is gigging. Gig’s come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, some forged by craftsmen here in the Ozarks and have become highly collectible if you ask auctioneer Larry Foster of Foster Auction Service they can bring a handsome sum of money, especially those made right here in the James River area. You have to remember back in the early part of the last century up until 19 70 the gigging was done to put food on the table, whether it was frogs or suckers. The equipment used was built to last, failure meant nothing on the table for the family. I won’t get into the detailed information or history as it has been covered.
Here’s a recipe for fried bullfrog.
1 cup flour
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tbs black pepper
1 tbs season salt
1 tbs lemon pepper salt
1 cup milk
2 quarts peanut oil
Thaw a possession limit of frog legs (16 pair) drain and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients into a large plastic bowl with lid. Dip legs into milk and egg mixture then drop into bowl with dry ingredients. Cover bowl and shake your legs! Drop in hot oil and cook until golden brown.
The experience and excitement of hunting frogs is topped only by the satisfaction of eating your harvest, and nothing draws kinfolk out of the woodwork like frogs in hot fat. All that usually remains after a frog fry is a little pile of bones picked clean as cotton swabs. This summer, hunt some frogs with your friends and family, make some lasting memories and enjoy a taste of Missouri’s bountiful resources.
(Recipe Provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation)